House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused Education Secretary Betsy DeVos of “malfeasance and dereliction of duty” during a Sunday morning appearance on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
CNN guest-anchor Dana Bash asked Pelosi to react to a sometimes-heated interview on the topic of public schools reopening in the fall that she had completed with DeVos during the prior segment.
“No, I think what we heard from the secretary was malfeasance and dereliction of duty,” Pelosi responded. “This is appalling. The president and his administration are messing with the health of our children. We all want our children to go back to school. Teachers do, parents do, and children do. But they must go back safely.”
Pelosi went on to criticize President Donald Trump’s administration for its coronavirus response, claiming that “going back to school presents the biggest risk for the spread of the coronavirus.”
“They ignore science and they ignore governance in order to make this happen,” she said. “If there are CDC guidelines, they should be requirements.”
“How do you make that happen?” Bask asked. “Do you have to pass something in Congress to make that so?” (RELATED: Stanford’s Dr. Scott Atlas: There Is ‘No Science Behind Having Children Not Attend Schools’)
“No,” Pelosi responded. “You have to have a science-oriented administration to require it.”
“Do they have the authority to do that?” Bash pressed.
“Of course they do,” said Pelosi. “You just require, just as a governor would, that you have mask-wearing, that you have social distancing. They have those guidelines that change because of a tweet from the president. We think that guidelines should always be improved. There’s no question of changing. Improved on the basis of science. But they should be mandates, not requirements.”